Johnston excited to take on Cuchulainn role

NEW Cuchulainn manager Seanie Johnston has said that he is looking forward to the rapid learning process that will accompany his first senior job.

The former Breffni forward, who will have clubmate Micheál Lyng in his backroom team, is also confident that the calibre of person in the Mullagh club ensures that the intermediate side can make real progress in 2021 – when the season does eventually begin.

The club reached the senior semi-finals for the first time in their history in 2014 – Johnston hit 1-8 for Cavan Gaels that evening to knock them out – but after surviving a relegation battle the following season, Cuchullains dropped down to the second tier in 2017 where they have remained ever since.

They reached the 2018 Intermediate final only to lose heavily to Mullahoran, but last season they finished ninth in the group stages and outside the quarter-final spots.

“From talking to the club and their ambitions, a lot of the appeal for me would be what type of people you’re dealing with,” said Johnston.

“They’re extremely friendly and welcoming and I saw it as a great opportunity for Micheál and myself getting started. Hopefully we can bring something to them and see improvements moving forward.

“Obviously last year didn’t work out as planned in terms of what they wanted to achieve, so it’s a brand new start. It’s a blank canvas.”

In an ideal world, Johnston would be ramping up preparations later this month but the Covid-19 pandemic has halted all in-person activities for the time being.

The seven-time Cavan Championship winner said that they would deal with the hand dealt to them, but that it was not the easiest situation to sort out.

“It’s difficult times in getting things prepared and knowing even when football is going to start,” Johnston said.

“Even planning a season is tricky at the moment but you are always learning.

“Now is around the time, middle to late January, when you would be looking to meet up and get your plans in place and so on.

“We’re very conscious, as everyone is, about the rules and regulations and not breaking those.

“It’s going to be difficult to meet up and it seems that everything is going to be pushed back in some way. A lot of stuff can be done online, meetings on Zoom or Teams.

“It’s not ideal though, especially coming into a new set-up. You want to meet people as much as possible and get to know them.

“It is what it is and we’ll make the best of what we have.”

Johnston and Lyng both played for Cavan Gaels in their run to the 2020 Senior semi-final, and while he did not say that he was hanging up his boots, he did admit that it would be difficult to combine both roles in the coming months.

He will chat to Gaels’ boss Kieran Donnelly about the situation before making any firm decision on whether or not he will play again.

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